- Dr. Liz Homan
How to DeCONDITION My Child.
Who here hopes that their children do not grow up having the same limiting beliefs and fears that you currently have?
Well, we have the power to allow our children to develop beliefs that are not limiting! I recently heard “give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” and I needed to explore more of what it meant.
Through my research I have learned that our environment (the things around us) controls the behaviors or actions that we take. These behaviors then create our skill sets which lead to us forming a belief of what we are “good” at and what we can achieve. From there we form our personal identity. Once we have an established identity, it can be very difficult to change and most people’s identities are created by the time they are 7 years old. Our identity then controls our behaviors because we only do things that support this identity.
This is a continuous cycle, and one that builds upon itself. So, this is why we have so many traits like our own mother… even if we told ourself hundreds of times that “I am not going to be a mom like my mom was…” I hope you all are following this.
So what are some things that can be done to “decondition” our child so that they do not having the same limiting beliefs that we may have.
The big thing to pay attention to how you are talking to your child. This is hard to explain so I am going to give you a few examples on how we talk to our girls.
I am not sure if I have shared before or not, but Anna has some speech limitations that we recently began speech therapy for. When we are going through the exercises, we always find something positive to comment on with each word. We have also chosen to not use “That’s okay, that is a hard one.” Because what is that telling her… well, in our opinion, it is telling her that it is always going to be a hard word to say and we do not want that for her.
Another area that we are working on with the girls is making sure that they grow up with an abundance mindset. This is not how I was raised, and I have worked hard to shift my thinking to change my environment and I do not want my girls to have to do the same. So, what this looks like is when we are at the store, or the zoo, or wherever and there are little toys sitting out and they ask for one. In the past I would have said, “No, we cannot get that.” Now I say, “I understand that you want that, but it is not on our list today but maybe we can add it to our list next time or add it to your birthday/Christmas list.” By shifting it from no you cannot have it to you maybe able to get it in the future, it opens it up to the possibility of obtaining the things that you desire in life. When we just say “no” we are putting a negative focus on their thoughts and this is not going to bring things they want into their life.
Another key area to focus in is how you speak about your child’s health. If they have the tendency to get a cold at a certain time of year, look at what you are telling them leading up to the weather change of whatever it is. Instead of, “lets take more vitamins because you usually get sick once the school year starts”, change it to “let’s take a few more vitamins to make sure you stay healthy and strong.”
I hope that this is all making sense to you. This is the first time that I have ever tried to explain in written word the ‘why’ behind how we speak to our girls so it may be a bit jumbled. The key thing to remember is that what is going on in your child’s environment is going to create their identity and that is going to stick with them for a lifetime so make sure to protect their environment as much as possible! Especially when they are young and so impressionable!